New Mexico Weather: 9/22/16

Yesterday, the skies had clouded up in Socorro just before I left town.  It rained hard in Belen, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho in the evening, and I have no reason to think that it stayed dry in Socorro.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been still, mild and cloudy.  The backyard weather station says the temperature is 60.3 F, the relative humidity is 64%, the relative pressure is 30.22 in Hg and falling, and the winds are 2.2 mph from the south.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today, with a 20% chance of isolated storms, and a high temperature of 87 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms and low temperature of 57 F and a south wind of 10-15 mph, decreasing to 5-10 mph after midnight.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds over the state this morning.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows a bit of a drying trend at the 700 mb to 400 mb level ahead of the trough.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque is unavailable at this time.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mostly clear skies.  Light winds, mild temperatures and high dewpoints cover most of the the state this morning.

The surface pressure map shows high pressure at the CO/NM border and no strong pressure gradients thus far this morning. The RAP shows that both will weaken over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow as a closed, upper-level low and associated trough move east through Nevada.  New Mexico will be on the leading edge of this trough by this evening.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows some strong Upward Vertical Velocities (UVV) over the north-central part of the state today.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) entering the western part of the state today as a cold front associated with the trough and upper-level low.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain is possible over most of the state today, ahead of the approaching trough.

Without the sounding, I feel like I am flying a little blind.  Upper air soundings are to meteorologists what the periodic table is to chemists.  However, I think we have two distinct layers- a boundary layer that is quite damp, based on the dewpoints and the humidity this morning, and drier air aloft, based on the water vapor imagery.  Based on this, we could have some convection as the less dense, moist air will have some buoyancy and rise into the dry air.  Based on the 700 mb rising air, the approaching trough and cold front, and the rich, low-level moisture, a few showers and thunderstorms are possible today.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC


About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
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